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There's a horrifying story out of northeastern North Carolina. For 10 years, a girl was subjected to horrific abuse from her six brothers at her home in unincorporated Perquimans County, just wast of Elizabeth City and almost an hour south of Hampton Roads. Even worse, her parents knew about it and did absolutely nothing. Now the brothers and the parents face charges of essentially stealing a little girl's entire life.
Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley said the brothers were arrested last Tuesday and charged with crimes related to raping a girl known to them beginning when she was 4 years old until she was about 15:WAVY-TV in Hampton Roads sat down with Tilley to discuss the investigation. Watch here--it's worth it to see a first-hand perspective on how this tragedy came to light.
- Eric Jackson, 27, was charged with three counts rape of a child, three counts statutory rape of a child less than six years old and three counts of sex offense.
- Jon Jackson, 25, was charged with first degree sex offense.
- Mathew Jackson, 23, was charged with five counts of rape of a child.
- Nathaniel Jackson, 21, was charged with two counts of first degree sexual offense and three counts of statutory rape.
- Benjamin Jackson, 19, was charged with five counts statutory rape.
- Aaron Jackson, 19, was charged with five counts statutory rape.
During the time of the abuse, Tilley said the Jacksons lived with their parents, John, 65, and Nita, 54, who were also arrested Tuesday, each charged with felony child neglect.
The investigation began in December 2012, when Eric told the pastor of his church that he had a terrible confession to make--from 2003 until just a few weeks earlier, he and his brothers had molested their sister. The pastor, Dan Horn, immediately called Tilley's office; pastors are mandated reporters in North Carolina. He then urged Eric to confess, and a few days later they made the two-hour drive to Hertford, where Eric confessed to a detective. Two of Eric's brothers confessed soon after the investigation started, and one of them revealed that their mother saw the abuse at least once and just walked away.
The next step was interviewing the girl--but Tilley told HuffPo that it proved somewhat difficult at first.
"Her parents refused to let us talk to her and [they] moved to Colorado," said Tilley.The brothers are all on jail on $150,000 bond each, while the parents paid their $15,000 bond and returned to Colorado. However, they'll have to be back in North Carolina when this goes to court on Monday.
Authorities in Colorado were notified of the situation and the Department of Human Services in Colorado Springs took custody of the victim. It was then, Tilley said, that his deputies were able to talk to the girl about the alleged sexual abuse.
"I sent one of my investigators to Colorado and he had an eight-hour interview with her," Tilley said. "She confirmed everything her brothers told us."
The case was presented to a grand jury in North Carolina and they handed down indictments against the parents and brothers in April.
Tilley told WVEC-TV in Hampton Roads that he initially didn't think this case was going anywhere. The family was very tightly knit, and lived in a compound-like house in an unincorporated area outside Hertford. The kids were all homeschooled, but apparently their education was, shall we say, inadequate--it took Eric an hour to write his name.
One thing really bugs me about this case--how in the world are John and Nita Jackson not in jail? It's inconceivable that they didn't somehow teach their kids that this kind of behavior was acceptable. Anyone like that definitely doesn't need to be living among us. Tilley doesn't like it either. He told WTKR in Hampton Roads that he holds the parents responsible for this even though--for now, anyway--they're facing facing lesser charges than their sons.
The girl is now 16 years old. Hopefully she's doing OK--this is something that will scar her for the rest of her life.